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Argentina notches record shale production, backed by Vaca Muerta boost

Argentina’s output of oil and gas from shale rose to record levels in May, the government said on Tuesday, bolstering hopes that its massive Vaca Muerta shale formation can help reverse a costly energy deficit that has strained public coffers.

Unconventional oil production averaged approximately 241,000 barrels per day, a 57% jump from the same time last year. Shale gas production, meanwhile, averaged approximately 76 million cubic meters per day, a year-on-year increase of 39%.

“We have a constantly growing sector, thanks to the strong boost we gave Vaca Muerta,” Energy Secretary Dario Martinez said in a statement.

Vaca Muerta is the world’s second-largest unconventional gas reserve and one of the largest oil reserves.

The government also reported that total oil production reached 584,000 barrels per day in May, a year-on-year increase of 14%, while gas production was approximately 136 million cubic meters per day, 12% more than the same month in 2021.

Last week, Argentina signed a contract to advance the construction of a vital gas pipeline to move gas from Vaca Muerta, allowing the country to forgo costly imports of liquefied natural gas.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Writing by Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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